by Athanasia Papadimitriou
The Priest’s Wife’s Level of Commitment to Her Husband’s Ministry
Today’s priest’s wife has many options with respect to how much time and energy to commit to her husband’s ministry.
- She can be a full-time mother or homemaker.
- She can work full-time or part-time outside the home.
- She can be a volunteer member of various church committees and projects.
- If she is qualified, she can become professionally involved in the parish ministry.
- Or she can combine any of the above.
Her first priority is to her husband and children. Many mothers desire to stay home with young children, if the family can afford it financially. They give their children a sense of security. They have more time to spend with their children, teach them, answer their questions, and most importantly pray with them.
Holding a full-time position outside the home can be rewarding. Besides bringing extra income, it can be a place for a priest’s wife to do something that she enjoys.
When she works outside the home, there is obviously less time for her family and the parish family. It also affects her husband’s schedule and the amount of time he can spend in the parish because he must budget his time to share more family responsibilities. If people know that the priest’s wife works outside the home, they may have fewer expectations about her level of commitment to parish ministry.
It is preferable, however, to keep a balance, support her husband, and keep her presence within the parish.
The priest’s wife can evaluate her own talents, skills, and interests, and proceed accordingly. She can do what makes her happy and what works best for both her and her husband.
No matter how she chooses to share her husband’s ministry, however, it is important that she be happy with her decision and live with it.
From A.:Papademetriou’s “Presbytera” The Life, Mission, and Service of the Priest’s Wife.” Ed. Somerset Hall Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 2004.